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AT&T, Verizon refuse request to delay 5G rollout

Jan. 02, 2022
2 min read
Internal control part of the aircraft cockpit including altimeter. (Photo by
AT&T, Verizon refuse request to delay 5G rollout
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AT&T and Verizon have refused a request by federal officials to delay the launch of their new 5G wireless systems. That request came in the form of a Dec. 31 letter to the telecom giants from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.

The letter asked the two companies to pause the introduction of their 5G service, scheduled to launch on Jan. 5. At issue is the much-discussed potential for the frequency, known as C-band, to potentially interfere with aircraft operations.

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Although some studies have shown that 5G does, in fact, interfere with vital aircraft altimeter readings, the telecom industry remains unconvinced.

The altimeter readings become key for pilot approaches in low visibility situations like when fog settles in over San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Radio altimeters are an important tool for pilots during low-visibility landings. (Photo by Martin Von Castell/EyeEm/Getty Images)

In fact, the day before the letter from Buttigieg and Dickson was sent, an airline trade group filed an emergency request to the Federal Communications Commission regarding the 5G rollout.

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Related: Airline industry study warns of massive impacts if FAA’s 5G directive takes effect

Today's response from AT&T and Verizon does leave some room for compromise. The two company CEOs offered their own limited counterproposal. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, they agreed to reduce the power of their service for six months to the levels currently authorized in France (one of several countries where 5G is already in use).

“If U.S. airlines are permitted to operate flights every day in France, then the same operating conditions should allow them to do so in the United States,” said the letter signed by AT&T CEO John Stankey and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg.

Related: What happens when you don’t put your phone on airplane mode?

The compromise, said the executives, would allow U.S. authorities to conduct further studies regarding the possible adverse effects the new technology is having on air traffic.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023